A total of 13 out of 27 major Macau casino hotels surveyed by GGRAsia is sold out for at least five nights during China’s upcoming autumn “Golden Week” holiday period from October 1 to October 7. The period coincides with celebrations for China’s National Day. Most of the 13 hotels reporting sold-out days are at casino resorts in Cotai.
But research earlier this month by banking group Morgan Stanley suggested in return for guaranteeing full bookings, some large Macau hotels in casino resorts had been reporting average daily rates (ADRs) for their rooms falling by as much as 50 percent compared to a year earlier.
As of Tuesday (September 24), eight out of the 13 hotels reporting solid bookings for Golden Week were sold out for more than five nights. They included: MGM Macau – promoted by MGM China Holdings Ltd; Wynn Macau on the city’s peninsula and Wynn Palace on Cotai – resorts promoted by Wynn Macau Ltd; and Banyan Tree Macau at the Galaxy Macau casino resort on Cotai and StarWorld Hotel downtown – both promoted by Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. Also sold out for more than five nights were respectively: Sands Macao on the city’s peninsula, and the St Regis Macao, Cotai Central; and the Conrad Hotel, Cotai Central – all promoted by Sands China Ltd.
The five sold out for at least five nights – according to information collated by GGRAsia from the hotels’ respective official booking sites – were: the hotel at MGM Cotai – MGM China’s Cotai resort; the Ritz-Carlton, Macau and JW Marriott Macau – both at Galaxy Macau in Cotai; and, respectively, the Holiday Inn Macao, Cotai Central and Four Seasons Macau, both promoted by Sands China.
China’s State Council has declared October 1 (a Tuesday) to October 7 (the following Monday) as this year’s National Day holiday period.
Though advance bookings for Macau’s casino hotels appear solid for the upcoming Golden Week, brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd had on Monday expressed concerns about a subdued outlook for gaming business in the holiday period. In its Monday memo, the brokerage said that it expected the quality of the customers to be “lower” than last year.
In a September 9 memo, Morgan Stanley had noted a year-on-year decline it had observed – via a survey it did on September 5 for what the institution termed ‘travel nights’ for the period October 1 to October 7 – regarding the average daily rates (ADRs) charged for some of the major Macau casino hotels’ standard rooms for this year’s National Day break.
According to Morgan Stanley some of the city’s five-star Cotai casino hotels – namely JW Marriott Macau, Galaxy Hotel, St Regis Macao, Cotai Central and Sheraton Macao – had of that date all seen a year-on-year fall of 50 percent or more in their room ADRs for the upcoming holiday.
As of July 31, Macau had over 38,000 guest rooms in operation, with approximately 24,500 of those rooms of the five-star tier, according to the city’s Statistics and Census Service.
A Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) senior official was quoted on Monday as saying the city anticipated a possible 15 percent year-on-year rise in visitor numbers during Golden Week. But the head of MGTO, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, remarked to media on Tuesday that Macau requires more effort from the local tourism sector to enhance the city’s appeal. In August the city saw a year-on-year decline in the number of overnight visitors, a trend that Ms Senna Fernandes said she believed was likely to continue.
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”Many investors cite Golden Week as a catalyst to significant, sustainable visitation increases and a showcase for profitability for many casinos [in Macau]... However… we are concerned recovery estimates may again be pushed back”
Analyst at Roth Capital Partners